Connecticut Green Bank Strengthens Commitment to Low-Income Residents

A recent blog by experts at the Center for Market Innovation (Managing Director Yerina Mugica and Welch Environmental Innovation Fellow Sarah Dougherty), posted by the the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), featured the appointment of Betsy Crum to the Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors and highlighted the importance the Green Bank places on maintaining and creating relationships in the affordable housing sector. At the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development, Ms. Crum, who is their Executive Director, focuses on developing housing for individuals coming out of homelessness and those earning up to 50 percent of area median income. 

To read the article and learn more about current Green Bank’s initiative for low-income residents, please click here.

New England Hydropower Energizes First Archimedes Screw Turbine site in U. S.

Financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, the green, fish friendly project to provide renewable electricity to the City of Meriden, CT

 

MERIDEN, CT (April 27, 2017) — New England Hydropower Company, LLC (NEHC) announced today that it has energized the first Archimedes Screw Turbine generation facility in the United States at the Hanover Pond project in Meriden, Connecticut. The facility, financed with a combination of public and private capital via the first official “Green Bond” issued by the Connecticut Green Bank (Green Bank), is expected to generate 920,000 kWh of electricity annually to Meriden under a long-term agreement with the City.

NEHC was given approval to energize to the Eversource distribution system in the first quarter of 2017. This follows electrical interface and controls integration, and a successful “witness” test establishing the project’s ability to provide power to the grid.

The Power Purchase Agreement with Meriden takes advantage of Connecticut’s virtual net metering regulations. As a qualified Class I renewable energy producer, the project participates in Connecticut’s Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit Program (ZREC). These two state programs, when taken together with the Green Bank’s innovative use of federally supported New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to dramatically reduce the project’s capital costs, are now allowing the City of Meriden to benefit from lower cost energy while at the same time going green.

The modern AST integrates automated electronic monitoring, controls, and safety systems. It is a proven technology with over 100 generating systems in Europe and the UK derived in concept from the ancient world.

A primary environmental advantage of the run-of-river system is that it provides safe downstream fish passage in the slow rotating screw turbine with limited turbulence at the exit. Working with state and federal natural resource agencies, NEHC is conducting migratory and resident fish studies at the adjacent fish passage at Hanover Pond to augment highly successful studies in the UK.

“Our goal from the inception of the company,” said Michael Kerr, CEO and Founder, “was that success at Hanover Pond would lead the way to market acceptance of the Archimedes Screw Turbine technology in the U.S.” The company researched thousands of legacy dams from the industrial revolution to determine ownership, assess technical, regulatory and commercial viability.

“We believed from the outset that our work with regulatory agencies to understand their requirements and work toward streamlining our processes,” continued Kerr, “would be essential to improving our pathway to developing green energy in the small-scale hydro sector.”

Following the permitting process, NEHC mobilized for construction at the site in September 2016, and the sluiceway, powerhouse and Archimedes screw trough were all completed to accept machinery in December 2016 for operation in April 2017.

“When we started this project, we embarked on a journey with many challenges. This was not a large transaction by any of the typical measures – project cost, kilowatts, the footprint of the project – but its significance as an innovative financing solution can’t be overstated,” said Bert Hunter, EVP & Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Green Bank. “Transformational projects like this hydropower initiative at Hanover Pond in Meriden require collaboration among many partners, including NEHC as developer and the team from Bank of America who led the bond structuring and purchase on their end.’

“Now that we’ve done this first one,” Hunter continued, “the Green Bank looks forward to future success in financing the development of more of Connecticut’s small-scale hydro resources.”

 

About NEHC: NEHC was formed in 2011 to develop, operate and own small-scale Archimedes Screw Turbine-based electric generation projects to support renewable, state and federal green energy objectives. The company provides the U.S. renewable energy market with a proven, environmentally sound, fish-friendly technology. For more information, please visit: www.nehydropower.com

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank: The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. For more information, please visit: www.ctgreenbank.com

 

 

 

Media contacts:

NEHC

Chris Conover

860-729-9767

chris@nehydropower.com

 

Connecticut Green Bank

Rudy Sturk

rudy.sturk@ctgreenbank.com

GRID Alternatives Launches Multifamily Affordable Solar Program in Connecticut

Collaboration with Connecticut Green Bank will open up solar, reduce energy costs for hundreds of multifamily buildings serving low-income families.

Solar panels are installed by GRID Alternatives at Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk.

April 27, 2017GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, today announced expansion of its multifamily affordable solar program into the Connecticut market. The program helps affordable housing owners and operators reduce energy costs with solar, providing no-cost technical assistance, as well as turnkey solar design and installation services.

The expansion was announced today at a live solar installation on the 57-unit Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk. The project, financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, is one of the first of its kind in the state, and will provide over $360,000 in lifetime energy cost savings for affordable housing provider New Neighborhoods Inc. It also includes energy efficiency education for residents and hands-on solar workforce training for local job trainees and community college students.

Fair Street Apartments is part of a portfolio that GRID evaluated under its technical assistance program, which is provided at no cost through a grant from The JPB Foundation. Nearly 300 multifamily affordable housing buildings in the Connecticut

Volunteers from the Connecticut Green Bank helped install solar panels at the Norwalk site earlier this week.

Housing Finance Authority’s State-Sponsored Housing Portfolio have been evaluated for their solar potential.

The Connecticut Green Bank, which aims to accelerate investment in clean energy deployment in the state, will review the properties deemed suitable for solar and provide interested properties with financing for installation by GRID Alternatives or another qualified solar installer. The offering will expand solar deployment on Connecticut’s multifamily affordable housing stock, lowering operating costs while helping the state meet its goal of 27 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“Solar can make a huge financial difference for affordable housing owners, saving them money that can be applied to building upkeep and tenant services, and directly reducing rents in some cases,” said Peter Mandelstam, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Tri-State, which serves New York, New Jersey and now Connecticut. “We are excited to partner with Connecticut in opening up solar access for this market.”

“By reducing the energy burden on multifamily affordable properties, we are ensuring inclusive prosperity in Connecticut’s clean energy economy,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This partnership with GRID Alternatives not only helps put solar on suitable buildings, but offers local job training putting people to work. It’s a win-win.”

GRID’s ongoing national expansion efforts are supported by a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Fair Street installation is additionally sponsored by NRG Energy, Ardsley Partners, and GRID Alternatives’ national equipment partners: SunPower, Enphase Energy, Jinko Solar, IronRidge, and Schneider Electric.

Multifamily housing owners and developers interested in learning more about GRID’s no-cost technical assistance and solar offerings can visit www.gridalternatives.org/multifamily.

Gov. Malloy Appoints Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to Serve on the Connecticut Green Bank

Hartford, CT (4/17/2017) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he is appointing Gina McCarthy to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank.

McCarthy most recently served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. Previously, she served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (now known as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) under Governor M. Jodi Rell. During her extensive career, McCarthy has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation, and the environment.

“As the Connecticut Green Bank demonstrates how mobilizing private investment into our clean energy economy can reduce the energy burden on households and businesses while creating jobs in our communities, it is imperative that these investments also improve public health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Malloy said. “Gina McCarthy will be fantastic advocate for advancing these causes. She has dedicated her career towards advocating for the very issues that the Connecticut Green Bank seeks to accomplish, and we are thrilled to have her expertise back in Connecticut serving the people of our state.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is a quasi-public authority created through legislation Governor Malloy signed in 2011 with the mission of accelerating deployment of clean energy by using limited public dollars to attract private capital investment in clean energy products. In doing so, the organization helps the state in encouraging the creation of new jobs in the clean energy sector, promoting economic prosperity and energy security, and addressing climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization partners with private-sector investors to create low-cost, long-term, sustainable financing to implement green energy measures in the residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and infrastructure sectors.

“I look forward to reuniting with my colleagues in Connecticut and representing Governor Malloy on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank,” McCarthy said. “There is no greater imperative at this time than mobilizing more private investment in clean energy deployment in communities throughout Connecticut and across this country to combat global climate change. I am discovering that there is a need and urgency for more green banks in cities, counties, and states across the nation.”

“Gina McCarthy is a great choice and I welcome her experienced voice on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank,” Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, who also serves as Chairwoman of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Board of Directors, said. “Gina has been a tireless champion fighting against climate change and creating green jobs here and on a national level from Washington, D.C. Now she returns to the state to build on her work in helping the Green Bank make green energy accessible and affordable as we continue to tackle the impact of climate change and work to expand our green economy.”

McCarthy received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.

Connecticut Green Bank Staff Appointed to PACENation Board of Directors, Leadership Council

EVP/CIO Bert Hunter named to PACENation board; VP Mackey Dykes to serve on Leadership Council

 

Rocky Hill, CT (March 27, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank is proud to announce that Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter has been named to the PACENation Board of Directors. Additionally, Vice President Commercial and Industrial Programs Mackey Dykes has been appointed to serve on the PACENation Leadership Council, an advisory committee for the organization.

PACENation is a movement of people and organizations united in their support for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACENation works towards a future in which PACE financing is used to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resiliency upgrades to homes and commercial buildings in every municipality across the United States. Currently, PACE programs are operating in 19 states, including Connecticut, which has a thriving Commercial PACE (C-PACE) program.

“We are very glad that Bert agreed to join our Board,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “He’s got a very extensive background in finance and investment, and he’s a leading expert in clean energy finance and PACE. It’s a perfect fit and he will be a great asset as we continue to promote the value of PACE.”

As the Connecticut Green Bank’s Chief Investment Officer, Hunter leads the development of new and innovative financing programs designed to attract more private capital to scale-up the state’s clean energy investments. In its first five years, the Green Bank has used its resources to drive more than $1 billion of clean energy investment in Connecticut. Projects recorded through FY 2016 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy, which has helped create thousands of jobs in our communities, prevented the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitated rapid growth in the deployment of clean energy.

After joining the Connecticut Green Bank in 2012, Dykes served as their Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he helped lead the transformation, development and implementation of the Green Bank’s clean energy financing mission as well as running its day-to-day operations. In 2016, Dykes assumed responsibility for the Commercial, Industrial and Institutional portfolio, and through programs such as C-PACE, he helps commercial and industrial building owners, non-profits, schools and hospitals access affordable capital for clean energy projects. Prior to joining the Green Bank, Dykes was the White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The formation of the Leadership Council will create a more formal means for members to share insights on the market, ideas, opinions, and advice with PACENation staff and its Board of Directors.

“Our goal is to create a Council whose members are leaders in the PACE marketplace and whose composition really reflects the breadth of organizations from all sectors that have been working constructively toward making PACE financing available to all building owners throughout the U.S.” said Gabrielson, adding “Mackey has helped build one of the most successful C-PACE programs in the country.”

For more information on Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About PACENation

PACENation is the national, non-profit advocacy organization for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. To learn more about PACENation, please visit pacenation.us

 

 

For More Information, Contact:

Rudy Sturk

Rudy.Sturk@ctgreenbank.com

 

 

Building a Market for Renewable Thermal Technologies

March 23, 2017 – Though a mature technology, renewable thermals occupy a small niche in Connecticut — and in the U.S. at large. A new Yale-led study analyzes the market potential of this technology across the state and provides key insights into spurring consumer demand.

According to the analysis, led by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), renewable thermals have significant market potential in the state if supported by appropriate public policy and financing tools. Renewable thermal technologies comprise a range of products—from solar water heaters to district energy systems — all designed to use renewable energy in the cooling of space and the heating of both space and water.

Collectively, the use of energy for thermal purposes accounts for roughly one-third of all U.S. energy consumption. In Connecticut, over 60 percent of the energy used in residential and commercial buildings is for space heating and cooling; this demand, combined with the energy used to heat water, account for 30 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Switching from conventional fossil fuel providers of thermal energy to RTTs could offer significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions — of particular relevance as Connecticut aims to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.

“Renewable heating and cooling are not as visible or high profile as renewable electricity, but holds an enormous reservoir of possibility for utilizing local resources to off-set fossil fuels. Like renewable electricity, renewable heating and cooling need supportive policies and financing products to kick start a viable market,” says Helle Gronli, associate research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and director of the Feasibility of Renewable Thermal Technologies in Connecticut project (FORTT).

The FORTT team is based at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and is part of a larger coalition that includes the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Eversource Energy, the United Illuminating Company, and the Connecticut Green Bank. CBEY is based at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management.

The first part of the study analyzed the market potential of RTTs in Connecticut through 2050. The findings suggest that RTTs could competitively serve 19 percent of thermal demand in buildings across the state. Annually, this represents the curtailment of 1.4 million tons of CO2e emissions. However, realizing Connecticut’s overall goal requires a considerably higher rate of RTT deployment than what currently is found competitive.

The second part of the study, more behavioral in nature, revealed existing barriers and drivers that influence whether or not consumers choose to adopt renewable thermal technologies. Through a series of in-depth interviews across the range of RTT stakeholders, the findings revealed interventions needed to establish a marketplace in which RTTs are both viable and trusted alternatives to non-renewable technologies. The results can be distilled into four core insights:

  1. Public institutions, which tend to be both large property owners and heavy energy users, should show direction by adopting RTTs internally and establishing external regulation (e.g. building codes) to encourage the development of the nascent market and increase customer awareness.
  2. Innovative financial products and strategies to improve the value proposition of RTT investments are needed to help the financing of RTTs achieve scale; this, in turn, will reduce upfront costs.
  3. Resources must be deployed to develop a competent and competitive regional industry. A well-supported and trustworthy base of installers and experts focused on the RTT industry directly supports consumer trust in this new market.
  4. New policies should be considered to create value streams attached to RTTs. Thermal renewable energy credits, carbon pricing and voluntary markets for clean energy are clear examples, as are building certification schemes through which property value and market rents reflect efficient thermal technologies.

“In order for us to achieve our long-term climate change strategies in Connecticut, we are going to need to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in households and businesses throughout the state,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “By working together with Avangrid, Eversource, and Yale we can attract private investment to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technology while creating jobs and helping consumers.”

On the supply side, the study shows that clear policy guidelines and standardized regulatory processes are needed to build a fluid and efficient RTT market.

Among consumers, RTTs tend to suffer from a deficit of awareness. Marketing campaigns to raise their profile, similar to Connecticut’s recent “Solarize” campaign, could go a long way to increasing demand and lowering soft costs. These efforts could be paired with financial tools, whether block grants or leasing agreements, to help defray upfront installation costs—one of the central barriers to adoption.

“This report builds our understanding of the work that’s needed to support the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in Connecticut,” said Rob Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Developing a sustainable market for renewable thermal technologies will help us reach Connecticut’s climate change goals as part of the work of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, while at the same time advancing implementation of our Comprehensive Energy Strategy.”

Download full copies of the reports here.

 

 

Speaker Aresimowicz Appoints Affordable Housing and Finance Expert Betsy Crum to Join the Connecticut Green Bank

Rocky Hill, CT (March 14, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors. Ms. Betsy Crum comes to the Board with substantial background in affordable housing development and finance serving communities of need.

“I am excited to help the Connecticut Green Bank serve its mission, particularly among historically disadvantaged households or distressed communities,” said Crum. “Families in these households face high energy burdens, and really require attention and investment to fix the health and safety problems that get in the way of installing energy improvements. I am honored that Speaker Aresimowicz asked me to join the Board of Directors of the nation’s first green bank.”

Since 2015, Ms. Crum has been the Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development, a non-profit housing development corporation focused on creating and preserving affordable and supportive housing for low income families and individuals. From 2011 to 2015, she was Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, and from 2005 to 2010 she was Director of Real Estate for the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development. Before stepping into these positions, she served in leadership roles with the Corporation for Supportive Housing; with Co-op Initiatives, Inc.; and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Ms. Crum had an early career with community development and housing coordinator roles for the Towns of Enfield and Plainville and with the Connecticut Department of Housing.

Ms. Crum is an honors scholar from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Urban Studies, with distinction. Her recent professional affiliations include chairing the Journey Home Hartford Board of Directors; a member of the CT Interagency Council on Affordable Housing; a member of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations; being Housing Chair for the Partnership for Strong Communities’ “Opening Doors – CT” framework, and being Chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston Advisory Council.

Catherine Smith, Commissioner for the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, added, “As the Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank, I am pleased that Speaker Aresimowicz has appointed Betsy to the Board of Directors. Betsy has the background to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission to attract private investment in clean energy deployment in Connecticut, reduce the energy burden on households and businesses, create jobs in our communities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. The Green Bank has made great strides in the past couple years in helping low-to-moderate income families get access to savings on their energy bills through clean energy improvements.”

Ms. Crum was appointed by Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington). “The legislature created Connecticut Green Bank in 2011 to attract private investment in clean energy and provide increased access to more affordable financing for clean energy projects,” said Speaker Aresimowicz. “Betsy’s appointment should help the Green Bank with expanding their markets. It is important they let residents and businesses in all locations know there are opportunities in clean energy throughout Connecticut.”

Ms. Crum replaces outgoing board member Patricia Wrice, who also recently retired as Executive Director of Operation Fuel.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

Connecticut Green Bank Presents PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 2, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced the winners of the 2016 PACEsetter Awards during a ceremony today at the Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven. The award winners are the driving force behind the success of the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. This is the second annual PACEsetter Awards ceremony.

The Connecticut Green Bank created the PACEsetter Awards to acknowledge contractors, building owners and other stakeholders who are advancing the green energy movement through C-PACE, and who’s leadership establishes a ‘pace’ for others in their field to follow.

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, which helps commercial and industrial property owners access affordable, long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. C-PACE enables building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses achieve lower energy costs and increase their bottom-line.

The Green Bank acknowledged contractors, building owners and other stakeholders across multiple categories:

  • Top Performer, 2016
    • Green Earth Energy, a C-PACE contractor based in East Windsor who closed 13 C-PACE projects in 2016, the most of any contractor in the program
  • Best Newcomer, 2016
    • Beacon Mechanical Service, a C-PACE contractor based in Granby who closed their first C-PACE project in 2016 and utilized technical assistance that Green Bank offers to new contractors
  • Outstanding Project, 2016
    • Ross Solar Group of Danbury & Defeo Manufacturing for their C-PACE project at Defeo Manufacturing’s Brookfield facility – the 64.7 kW rooftop solar system and roof replacement was the first C-PACE project to close through the Green Bank’s Energy on the Line program
    • Energy Resources of Thomaston & HARC for their comprehensive energy efficiency and solar C-PACE project at HARC’s Hartford facility
  • Accelerating PACE, 2016:
    • Donna Pellitteri, Tax Collector for the Town of Trumbull, who has been a leader in her municipality’s participation in C-PACE
    • Jeff Bishop of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, who has been a driving force in using C-PACE for economic development in the Bridgeport region.
    • Ralph Coppola, owner of Northeast Quality Services in Cromwell, which used C-PACE to complete a comprehensive energy efficiency project that included HVAC, lighting and air sealing, has advocated for C-PACE and communicated the benefits to fellow property owners

 “The strength of our contractor network, leadership from building owners, and the countless individuals advocating for C-PACE is what has made this program a success,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank.  “The Connecticut Green Bank is very pleased to recognize these PACEsetters, whose efforts continue to strengthen the C-PACE program. Their hard work means more Connecticut businesses are using more green energy and reducing their energy costs. We look forward to continuing to work with them and others to accelerate the green energy movement with C-PACE.”

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

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For More Information, Contact:
Rudy Sturk
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Connecticut Green Bank a Semifinalist for Harvard’s Innovation in Government Award

January 18, 2017 – Cambridge, MA – The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today more than 60 innovative government programs as part of the 2017 Bright Ideas initiative. This year’s cohort includes programs from all levels of government — school districts, county, city, state, federal agencies, and tribal nations, as well as public-private partnerships — that represent the next horizon in government work to improve services, solve problems, and work on behalf of citizens. Read full Article

Kresge invests $3 million in Connecticut Green Bank to support solar generation and storage in affordable housing

First round of Kresge Community Finance loans provides $14 million to six CDFIs, DFAs

December 18, 2016 – The Kresge Foundation announced today $14 million in investments to six Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF).

KCF invited proposals from qualifying CDFIs and DFAs working in American cities on projects that align with Kresge’s strategic priorities in six program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Detroit.

Kresge Community Finance wordmarkMore than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with small operating grants.

Program-related investments made in the first round of Kresge Community Finance funding include:

  • $3 million to Reinvestment Fund to support creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans.
  • $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank to support the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in Connecticut’s urban and coastal communities.
  • $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England to support the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing, and healthy food retail projects in cities in Southern New England.
  • $3 million to Enterprise Community Loan Fund for the equitable revitalization of the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit’s East Jefferson neighborhood.
  • $3 million to Boston Community Capital in support of its collaboration with MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in Massachusetts cities pursuing community-led placemaking redevelopment.
  • $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of its partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density and walkability.

In total, the Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations. Additional investments through KCF will be announced in 2017.

“We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs,” said Joe Evans, the foundation’s portfolio manager, Social Investment Practice, “and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities.”

Kresge’s Social Investment Practice uses a variety of financial tools to invest in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments by 2020.

“To move that amount of money, we wanted to explore innovative ways of sourcing and funding a large pipeline of investments that advance our mission, while balancing risk and portfolio construction considerations,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investments Practice. “The demand for KCF proved to us that there is a market for this type of product, and we’re thrilled to partner with and support so many important efforts that will improve opportunity for thousands of low-income people.”

CDFIs are private nonprofits that leverage private sector investment to provide financing and technical assistance for a range of community development activities, including job creation, small business development, housing and other community development.

DFAs are public, private and non-profit development entities that provide financing for programs that foster job creation and economic development with a focus on growing housing and employment opportunities in low income communities.